‘Imperfect, sometimes flawed. That is beauty to me. Not airbrushed perfection’

‘Imperfect, sometimes flawed. That is beauty to me. Not airbrushed perfection’

Fiona Maclean is a painter, illustrator, makeup artist, photographer & writer based in Sydney, Australia.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your art practice? Why and how did you become an artist?

I was an exceptionally shy person growing up and found that I felt connected to people by painting people especially faces. It started out more as a hobby and what gave me a lot of joy to studying graphic design, makeup and fine art.

Although I am mostly self-taught when it comes to fine art as my studies were cut short due to family tragedy. The inspiration behind my art practise is me finding ‘connectedness’ to the world through my art and self-expression and also for selfish reasons as a form of meditation and escapism.

You also work in fashion and advertising as an illustrator, makeup artist, costume illustrator, photographer and writer. How do you bring all these various aspects of your creativity together?

To me they are all quite similar and overlap one another, all creative forms complement and even bring inspiration to each medium. I actually know a few makeup artists who have become fine artists and/or illustrators.

How do you choose the men and women you represent in your paintings and illustrations?

The subject to me must have a vulnerability to them, a fragility and sometimes edginess to them, plus they aren’t perfect and sometimes flawed. That is what beauty is to me, not airbrushed perfection. Their sexuality is often close to the surface of the skin as well as. Sometimes there is a duality to them.

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